8.20.2006

Mini-ha ha

Dear Miss Snark:

I have an agent -- a swell fellow who recently sold my first YA novel. I've been working on a few other projects, and recently completed a story that crossed the finish line at 12,000 words. Way too short for a novel, or even a novella, and too long for most short story markets, which of course pay abysmally anyway. Is there any point whatsoever in sending this new work to my agent? Would you want to see such a story if it was written by one of your clients? Or do
you want to stick only to those things that are truly salable?

Thanks very much.


Once you are my client, I want to hear about pretty much everything. In this case, traditonal outlets aren't going to work, but you never know when some clever editor will say "we're putting together a triptych of three authors and we need a 12,000 word piece by next Tuesday." Or, more likely, your agent will combine your 12,000 word Mini with other pieces from clients Alice Cooper and Steve Ausin and next thing you know: Austin Mini Cooper is born and it creates a whole new trend.

Agents are looking for ways to make money. We like grist for the mill. Grind on.

7 comments:

Bernita said...

12,000 words?
~waves~
Fell into that limbo too.

Kimber An said...

Why not simply adapt the story to fit?

Annie Dean said...

Add 8k and it's a short novella.

I've seen submission guidelines asking for novellas that are 20-35K.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Damn, I'd be proud to be in a collection alongside Alice Cooper. One thing, though... can HE do all the snake wrangling? *shudder*

mark said...

Seriously, though, at that length you need to pad it out by 50% to make it long enough to be a novella, or hack out 30% for it to be short enough for the short fiction markets. Either way, you're probably harming the poor thing irreparably, if 12k is the length it wants to be.

The other uncomfortable length like this is the 65k range--too long for novella collections, but too short to be taken seriously as a novel. Again, at that length both hacking and padding are major life-threatening surgeries.

Word verf.: jqpkzlm--you're praying for the other player to leave a couple vowels in an open line somewhere, so you don't have to throw back all those high-point consonants.

Maria said...

I can also think of a couple (and only a couple) of places that would take something that long--BUT it does depend on the genre. It also helps immensely if you are a published author (which you are, so you might be considered.)

Some anthologies might also take a look. Hopefully your agent can help!

Simon Haynes said...

Austin Mini Cooper is born and it creates a whole new trend.

As a pom, I thank you for that one ;-)